Calling All Members, Past and Present: The Windansea Surf Club Strives to Connect Its Past With Its Future

The Windansea Surf Club enjoys a combination of prestige and deeply rooted history that far outstrips any other surf organization in the U.S. Since the 1960s, this group has sent hallowed and high-profile riders out from its rickety grass shack in La Jolla to dominate and influence the world. Miki Dora, Skip Frye, Mike Hynson, Phil Edwards, Butch Van Artsdalen; the club roster of Windansea affiliates reads like a list of legends. And it's because of this rich culture, and a history steeped in lore, that current club president Gordon Dunfee is working to organize the first-ever Windansea Surf Club Reunion.

"We've been trying to put together a history," says Dunfee, "a collection of memorabilia, old boards, photos and interviews. We've begun to lose some of our older members in the past few years and we want to make sure we have a record of their legacy. We want to have a torch to pass on to the next generation."

Dunfee's mode of achieving this, however, isn't the stuffy route of the typical historian. Instead, he says, the idea is to bring any surfer, past or presently affiliated with the Windansea Surf Club, back under the palm frond hut for a normal day at the beach. "We're just going to have what would basically be a club meeting," he says, "but bigger. We'll grill and surf and talk story, and hopefully reconnect with our alumni. We want to get everyone, wherever they may be, back out to the beach to get them stoked on the club and surfing again."

Dunfee theorizes that in the long run this will help strengthen both the current vitality of the club's membership and allow the surfers to rekindle old connections on an individual basis. The end result will be a deeper sense of community among the younger generations and a network upon which the club's historians can draw. A noble and worthwhile goal, without a doubt, but Dunfee reminds all the invitees that the main focus of the reunion will remain true to the tenets upon which the club was originally founded. "It's going to be a hell of a good time," he says with a laugh.

The Windansea Surf Club Reunion will be held at Windansea Beach on Saturday, July 1, 2006. For more information please e-mail Gordon Dunfee at Surflaw2@aol.com.